Farmers need winds, heavy rains to stay away during peanut harvest

Farmers need winds, heavy rains to stay away during peanut harvest

BULLOCH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Plenty of South Georgia farmers have equipment in the field to harvest one of the state’s largest crops: peanuts.

Peanut farmers across the state have as much as $600 million on the line. They need storms like what we feared Dorian to be to stay away and not send winds or heavy rains in this direction.

David Cromley and his family run tractors back and forth across peanut fields. They’re trying to get 900 acres harvested to get this season behind them.

“I would say it’s pretty good, all things considered," Cromley said. “We had a hot, dry summer. From what we’ve seen so far, we’re probably down a ton per acre on our yields, which is really tough.”

They started digging the peanuts to dry on the ground as soon as Hurricane Dorian left, sparing inland counties from any winds and rains. Cromley says they can absorb the lean crop after two good years back-to-back that others might not have seen.

With a threat of rain Wednesday and the threat of more hurricanes brewing, Cromley’s family is eager to get as many loads out of the field as they can to keep them from sitting in rain and drying all over again.

“It’s way off from what it would typically be, but like I said, we’re just thankful to have something to pick," Cromley said.

As they get the peanut crop harvested, Cromley’s attention turns to how their cotton will look later in the fall.

A few showers won’t hurt along this harvest, Cromley says. In fact, it would soften the dirt and make harvest a little easier. That could help with fuel and implements, but prolonged rain from a hurricane could cost them a part of the crop he says is already small enough.

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